Much like the Jews of old, I’m a man of tradition. You don’t find enough people these days that appreciate the beauty and simplicity of the ritual. It never changes. It never gets old. It’s simply content with being and having purpose in its being. And like any religion (well, except for Mormons, I guess…) what ritual is complete without drinking? For Catholics, it’s the Blood of Christ. For Jews, it’s… something, I don’t really remember, I always was pretty drunk by the end of the Passover Seder, but I know that there’s wine there! For me? For me, the ritual lies in the drink itself. Modeled after Hanukkah, I give you Calhoun’s tradition of eight drunken nights!
8. The Night of Passing Out Early
This is how it always starts. You wanna blow off some steam or just enjoy a nice glass of wine after a stressful day at school or work or wherever you spend your time that’s stressing you out. Health and logic dictate that you should just stop going there, so you’re not stressed all the time, but who are we kidding? Here, we self-medicate. The need for some stress release lets you get a couple good drinks in, maybe a couple glasses of wine or a nice snifter of scotch, but the fatigue and mental drain sets in quickly and the night ends unceremoniously early.
7. The Night of Drunken Movies
This one gets a little more wild. In the back of your mind, you can’t help but hate yourself a little for being such a lame-ass for passing out so early the night before so you decide to pick up where the relaxation left off. You pop in a movie. Something you’ve seen before, classic, or just not all that interesting or intellectually demanding. Then the thought occurs to you… ya know what goes really well with high schoolers trying to lose their virginity in hilarious, creative, and unrealistic ways? A nice bottle of tequila. After one or two, the desire for drunkenness, just to make the movie appear as a drunken fever dream, overwhelms and before you know it, you’re trashed and you’ve watched all the way up to American Wedding. It’s okay to hate yourself a little more now. I mean, Jason Biggs has that effect on people, but at least you didn’t hafta suffer through it sober.
6. The Night of Food Cravings
I don’t know about the rest of you, but my self-consciousness and general low self-esteem tends to govern a lot of my actions. Ya know that classic drunk where you lose all your inhibitions? Most people end up professing their love for someone or telling off a person that they’ve been meaning to yell at for weeks, months, or years. Mine? Much less productive. When I lose my inhibitions, I get pretty wild and usually end up ordering Chinese. I know what you’re gonna say, that there’s so much sodium and just about everything is fried, but my drunken munchies know nothing of caloric intake or the body mass index. Easily one of the most enjoyable of the eight drunken nights, but you may hate yourself the next day.
5. The Night of Texting
This is where that nagging feeling of, “should I really be doing this much drinking?” sets in. Don’t listen to it. Instead, take the time to dig through your phone’s contacts list. Find the one you haven’t talked to in the longest and send an indecipherable, but well-intentioned text asking why you haven’t hung out recently and suggest that the two of you should get a drink soon. This allows for the illusion of having friends, even if you were both totally lying about getting that drink. This is also a good night for texting ex-lovers, accidentally texting one’s parents, or any other misfortunate folks whose numbers you have.
4. The Night of Regrettable Actions
This night can simply be a continuation of The Night of Texting or you can actually get out of the house and make an ass of yourself in public. It’s really your call. An old standard is going to a bar and hitting on someone who, thanks to the shoddy lighting of the bar, looks like s/he could be the person of your dreams. Do not be fooled. This is probably the low point of the eight drunken nights that drives you back into the comfort of drinking in your own home for the remaining three nights.
3. The Night of Pop Music
Back on the couch, this is the night that I always find myself cursing the internet. Or rather, I find myself cursing the internet after this night. Thanks to the Night of Pop Music, I know own the discography of the likes of Michelle Branch and Ryan Cabrera. This is a night characterized by drunken nostalgia for the years gone by and the Top 40 hits of decades past. It’s almost impossible not to heed the sweet, siren call of Casey Kasem and his band of fellow disc jockeys. As much as you may hate yourself for it (I know I do) the Night of Pop Music is about blowing off steam and just letting yourself be a kid again and enjoying it. It’s a good idea in theory, but in practice, you may be alarmed by how many gigs of bad music you’ll end up acquiring.
2. The Night of Drunken Musicals
Following the Night of Pop Music, when you swore to yourself you’d never go down that dark path again, you’ll find yourself in the Night of the Drunken Musical. The uncontrollable urge to burst into song as the music swells is only paralleled by your desire to get yet another bottle of wine. Some standards are Moulin Rouge for the weepy, melodramatic type or my personal favorite, Reefer Madness. Then you have some other, less-common but equally valid entries like Newsies or Annie (but none of that Kathy Bates shit). This is the night your neighbors will probably hate the most. As you grab wine glass after wine glass, the idea that you might be getting louder or that your walls aren’t that thin to begin with, never really crosses your mind. It probably should. Either way, it’s a fun night, just not for the neighbors.
1. The Night of the Intervention
Seriously? You’ve been drinking for a week straight now, how did you not think this was gonna end as a very special episode of A&E’s Intervention? Still, the ride was fun as hell.